NEW ORLEANS - Court papers filed by an attorney for suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma would seem to indicate that the linebacker is indeed in settlement talks with the NFL over his season-long suspension.
The papers were filed after reports over the weekend by ESPN said that the two sides were in discussions for a settlement that could shorten Vilma's suspension in exchange for Vilma's dropping legal action against the league.
The papers stated that the "media reporting of settlement discussions, attributed to "NFL sources," coming the day after the harsh and unfortunate comments from Goodell, some of which are identified above (in the court papers) reflect a long-standing media campaign by Goodell and the NFL in this matter."
The ESPN report was refuted by the league Monday morning.
“Today’s report about a settlement offer by the league to Jonathan Vilma is completely inaccurate. No such settlement offer has been made. We will continue to respect the court proceedings on this matter and have no further comment at this time," said Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL.
The report comes as U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan considers an injunction to halt Vilma's year-long suspension.
Berrigan is expected to rule on Vilma's request wihin the next two weeks.